Make the most of the dog days of winter

August is often called the heatwave of summer, but to me February can feel like the heatwave of winter. Most hunting seasons have come to an end and it is often bitterly cold outside. If you’re like me, it’s easy to go crazy staying indoors when the weather outside isn’t nice. However, there are a few ways to scratch your itch outdoors and have a great time doing it.

Rabbit and squirrel seasons last until the end of February. This is a great way to get out and enjoy the weather, while taking a nice walk in the woods. Both species can be easily taken with a shotgun, using a small shot size, or a rimfire rifle. Cottontail and squirrel are very little appreciated table dishes. Rabbit and squirrel hunting is a perfect activity for youngsters to start hunting. I know I started out outdoors chasing rabbits in the backyard with a pellet gun.

Colton Taylor

Predator hunting and trapping is open year-round when used in conjunction with the correct license. Hunting predators like coyotes or foxes can be another great way to get outside and enjoy the mild winter. Coyotes and foxes abound in South Dakota and can be challenging yet rewarding hunting.

Hand calls and electronic calls can be found at most sporting goods stores, and both can be extremely effective when used correctly. Manual calls are very inexpensive and can be a great entry level purchase to get into the sport. The fur market is pretty soft right now, but a tan coyote or fox fur is an awesome addition to your cave or den. There are countless instructional videos on the internet for skinning any of the critters.